Laws Effecting ELLs - ESL-Professional

Cristina Hudgins
Middle Tennessee State University
[email protected]
Brief Overview:
 “No
person in the U.S. shall,
on the ground of race, color
or national origin, be
excluded from participation
in, be denied the benefits or
otherwise be subjected to
discrimination under any
program or activity receiving
federal financial
(Title VI, Civil Rights Act)
The Impact on ESL Education:
 It
requires states to offer all
students, even non-native English
speakers, an equal opportunity to
receive an equal education.
 It “prohibit[s] denial of equal
access to education because of a
student’s limited proficiency in
English” (Federal Law and English
Language Learners).
The Impact on ESL Education continued:
 Programs
to teach ELL students
should NOT be designed as a ‘fast
track’ to learning English.
 Parents of ELL students should
receive information and notices in
a language they can understand.
 ELL students will NOT be placed in
special education classes because
they are not proficient in English.
Brief Overview:
 Giving
students the same desks,
books, teachers and lessons does not
necessarily constitute an equal
 Students who have little to no
proficiency in English are still cut off
from the instruction and therefore
do not receive an equal education.
The Impact on ESL Education:
 English
Language Learners are offered
programs that give them full access to
the same curriculum as native English
speakers so their rights to an equal
education are granted.
 “One
means of addressing these rights
was through implementation of bilingual
education programs, which give students
the opportunity to learn academic
content in their native language while
they gain competence in English” (From
the Ballot Box to the Classroom).
Brief Overview:
 The
schools are
responsible for
overcoming language
barriers that hinder the
participation of ELL
students in any
instructional program.
(Law & Policy: English
Language Learners)
The Impact on ESL Education:
 Schools
are required to provide information
such as the school policies, student
handbooks, parent consent forms, other signs
and labels in both English and the home
language of the student. (Federal Law and
English Language Learners)
 So,
now it can be sure that the parents, who
may not be proficient in English either, will
understand why their childt is in the program
they are in as well as what other programs
are offered and what other activities are
taking place in the school.
Brief Overview:
 This
court case resulted in the establishment
of a “three-part test to determine if school
districts are complying with the EEOA of 1974.
 The school/school district is required to:
make sure the program implemented is based on
“sound educational theory” or a “legitimate
experimental program design.
 actually “put in to practice the educational
program they have designed” and make sure to
“allocate the necessary personnel and practices”.
 Discontinue the use of programs that are not
producing results.
(Linking Language Policy to Practice)
The Impact on ESL Education:
 This
court decision contributed a
structured test to determine a
school districts compliance with
 It
gave ELL students a better chance
of having effective programs to
learn English and the other subjects.
The Impact on ESL Education:
 The
court decision also states “that the
segregation of ELL is permissible only
when” the benefits would outweigh the
adverse effects of the segregation.
 However, “OCR will not examine whether
an ESL/Bilingual program is the least
segregative.” They will only examine
“whether the degree of segregation in the
program is necessary to achieve the
program’s educational goal.”
(Federal Law and English Language Learners)
Brief Overview:
 The
amount of federal funding that
states receive depends on student
 NCLB “allows for local flexibility for
choosing programs of instruction, while
demanding greater accountability for
ELLs’ English language and academic
progress” (No Child Left Behind and
English Language Learners).
Brief Overview continued:
 States
must develop standards for the
proficiency required for the English
Language and “they must link those
standards to the state’s Academic Content
 Finally, “schools must make sure that ELLs
are part of their state’s accountability
system and that ELLs’ academic progress is
followed over time.”
(No Child Left Behind Act and English
Language Learners)
The Impact on ESL Education:
Students are tested once a year
ELLs must take state achievement tests for language
arts and math, with few case by case exceptions
ELLs, as a group, must meet certain annual targets of
ESL teachers must be English proficient
The curricula used must be demonstrated to be
effective and tied to scientifically based research
There must be standards and benchmarks established
by the state
It must be explained to the parents why their child
needs a specialized language program and that they
have the right to choose the program if multiple
programs are in place
 Each
of these laws or decisions has
effected the education system in
 ELL students are tested once a year.
 There are different tests that they are
 There are translators to speak with
students and parents. These translators
also translate documents for both students
and parents.
 Individual students are tracked over the
course of their education. This includes
ELL students and their progress as a group.
Developing ELL Programs
Tennessee ESL Program Guide
Tennessee ESL Curriculum Standards
Federal Law and English Language Learners
Ballot Initiatives to Regulate the Education of ELL
(2009). ELLS AND THE LAW: Statutes, Precedents [Electronic version].
Education Week, 28(17), 8-9. Retrieved May 19, 2010
Federal Law and English Language Learners. (2001, January 24).
Retrieved May 17, 2010
Brown University. (2006). Policy: Linking Language Policy to Practice
for English Language Learners. Retrieved May 17, 2010
Colorado, C. (2007). No Child Left Behind and English Language
Learners. Retrieved May 17, 2010
Mora, J. K. (2009). From the Ballot Box to the Classroom [Electronic
version] . Educational Leadership, 66(7), 14-19. Retrieved May 19,
Zirkel, P. A. (2002). Decisions That Have Shaped U.S. Education
[Electronic version]. Educational Leadership, 59(4), 6-12. Retrieved
May 19, 2010